tv [untitled] February 15, 2012 10:30pm-11:00pm EST
buy new cars and get them in a position -- >> canton area. >> that's the electrification. >> fixing up track, identifying systems that are cost effective, i say, do that and report to us and we'll see if it can be justified. >> good. >> but what you're talking about is major rail systems, new one as cross florida or some of these other areas and governors are running the cost totals, the costs are coming in much higher than projected. the ridership and income is below what's projected and it would be a massive colossal error to try to build a nationwide system right now when it cannot possibly be justified in my view. mr. chairman --
>> can i just say one thing? >> yeah. >> america has always been about vision, particularly when it comes to transportation. now, i'm glad that when president eisenhower signed the interstate bill, there were a few visionaries here in congress and in subsequent administrations because what they did, they built large chunks of concrete that didn't really connect for awhile, but there was a vision, to connect america, 00 years later we have a state of the art interstate system because of visionaries like eisenhower and like members of congress, that's the kind of vision that president obama, some governors, some people in america have for getting to the next generation of transportation. for connecting our kids and grandkids so they can get out of car, so they can get out of congestion. so they can ride in a comfortable train that goes a decent speed.
if we don't have that vision, we are going to really short-circuit our ability to get what other generations did for us. >> well, you've got a vision. it's just not connected sufficiently to reality in my opinion. thank you mr. chairman. >> the comments of transportation secretary ray lahood as he testified before the senate budget committee taking questions from senator jeff sessions on an ongoing debate here in washington and around the country, high-speed rail. we've soon it in great britain, elsewhere in europe and japan, the question is will we have it here in the united states? by the way, there is an association focused on high-speed rail if you're interested. the website is ushsr.com. this is "washington today" on c-span radio. >> on march 20th, the u.s. supreme court hears the oral argument in miller v alabama, someone convicted of murder when he was 14, whether it violates
the prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. you'll hear it cited on c-span's radio historic supreme court argument from 2005. donald roper, superintendent of the pitocy correctional institution versus christopher simmons, respond depth. >> they can evaluate the series of studies and pick what is an arab theirry age. there is no study in anything mr. simons cites that justifies that particular day, 18, they talked about adolescence. they talk about young adolescence, old adolescence and continuing until the mid-20s. nothing justifies the age of 18. that makes it the kind of fact that a legislature ought to be evaluating, not a court. >> everyone agrees that there is some age below which juveniles can't be subject to the death penalty. the question here is where are society's evolving standards now draw that line? 15 years ago this, court found
insufficient evidence that justified a bright line at 18. but since stanford, a consensus has evolved and new scientific evidence has emerged and these developments changed the constitutional calculus for much the same reasons the court found compelling in atkin. >> roper v simmons, saturday at 6:00 p.m. on c-span radio. >> wcsp washington around on xm satellite radio 119 and everywhere streamed at c-spanradio.org and "washington today" continues. ♪ >> although the strategy is framed as making the military more nimble and flexible, it's not clear how slashing the armed forces by over 100,000 during a time of war, shedding force structure and postponing the modernization makes that so. the president must understand that the world has always had and will always have a leader.
as america steps back, someone else will step forward. >> and so the debate continues on capitol hill, the comments of representative buck mckeon, a republican and chair of the house armed services committee as defense secretary panetta and general adam dempsey testifying on capitol hill about the president's budget that includes spending increases in many areas including health care and transportation with some rather sharp cuts in military spending, this is hour two of "washington today," i'm steve scully. thanks for being with us. we'll have more on this and also a number of related stories about how defense lobbyists are lining up to try to protect certain areas of the budget and congressional negotiators are trying to finalize a $100 billion measure that will extend payroll cuts and provide additional jobless benefits for millions of out-of-work americans and supporting the proposal, there is no pay for in
this measure which means that the proposal will go forth and likely add to the overall debt and deficit. it does cut the social security payroll tax by 2 percentage points. had congress not acted by the end of the month it would amend another $40 to $50 for the average taxpayer and john boehner put off action on that transportation bill until after next week's congressional recess. lawmakers out for presidents' day. a spokesperson saying more time is needed to work through the nearly 300 proposed amendments, also to find money to fund the bill. other lawmakers in both parties saying the real reason for the delay is a lack of support. we talked about this in the last hour. it was a single bill now being split into three separate measures. and the president beginning the day in milwaukee at the master lock plant talking about jobs coming back to the u.s. and then on to california with a series of fund-raisers, the president will raise up to $8 million in campaign fund raisers in san fr
corona delmar. we'll focus on that on c-span radio and want to hear from you and find out if you think enough attention is being paid to the federal debt and deficit. right now it is approaching $16 trillion and growing. our c-span radio listener feedback line is open at 202-626-7962. again, the phone number is 202-626-7962. leave a message, tell us where you're calling from and we will use some of your comments on "washington today" tomorrow and friday, again, the question, do you think washington is the president, members of congress, are they collectively paying enough attention to the federal deficit? well, let's begin with the ongoing debate about where to cut the deficit. the white house proposing some steep cuts in pentagon spending, but some sharp reaction from members of congress including buck me keon, the chair of the armed services committee as he questioned defense secretary leon panetta.
you'll hear from adam smith, democrat from washington state. >> given we have the cr hanging over us and sequestration kicking in, i, mr. secretary, talked to you about this, i put in a bill to -- in is going to be serious talking about everything we are dealing with today, the sequestration taking it over the top and hearing the news reports age in clfrom kore know general, you told us in a meet i meeting a couple of weeks ago in your 37 years, this is the most serious you've ever seen it. so i think these are serious questions. my bill would pay for the first year of sequestration, which moves it back a year.
it does it with as little pain as possible through attrition decreasing the size of the federal workforce. but i'm asking you, mr. secretary, if this is something you could support, trying to fix sequestration now, instead of having all of the people that will be laid off this year in preparation for next january, if it wouldn't be better to move ahead and fix that now, deal with it now, not wait for the december 31st deadline, and that would still give us then next year to work on next year's problems and sequestration. >> mr. chairman, as i've said time and time and time again, sequestration is a crazy process. that would do untold damage to our national defense.
it's a mechanism that would do, you know, just kind of blind-sighted cuts across the board and would really hollow out the force. so i'm prepared to work with you in every way possible to try to work on both sides to try to develop an approach that would detrigger sequestration. my hope was, frankly, that the supercommittee would take that responsibility and do that. i think that's what everybody's hope was. that didn't happen, and that really concerned me, and so whatever we can do on both sides to try to develop an approach that would detrigger, sequester and avoid that kind of horrific result, i'm certainly prepared to work with you on that. >> thank you. thank you very much. mr. smith? >> thank you, mr. chairman.
i will point out that the overall budget that the president submitted contained 3trillion in ten-year savings so if that budget was passed it more than meets the 1.2 that was required to avoid sequestration so there was a plan put on the table and i share the chairman's remarks that the sooner we resolve that overall issue, the better for all concerned, what ever that plan may wind up looking like. >> the comments of buck me keon asking questions to leon panetta and you heard from adam smith. joining us live on capitol hill is jeremy herb following this story for "the hill" newspaper available online at thehill.com. what was your takeaway from secretary panetta, this is the second day he was on the hill trying to roll out this budget proposal that does include some rather sharp cutbacks for the military and found it interesting on your website how k street lobbyists are lining up to obviously help the defense
industry dealing with some of these potential cuts. >> yeah, i mean this site is going to play out over the next year in addition to the 4$487 billion cuts there's also the 500 billion additional cuts that could come through sequestration and in some ways that's going to be the bigger fight over defense spending this year. >> what's going to happen next in terms of this political battle? does he have the support he needs from some democrats and republicans or could ceecee it looming through before the october 1st deadline of trying to get it in place. >> congressm maeman mccain and have tried to undo it but they've all been quickly criticized by democrats and basically aren't going to go anywhere, and so most people are expecting this won't be resolved until after the election in november. >> of course, sequestration is such a washington word. can you explain for those not familiar with what he's talking
about. >> sequestration was included in the debt limit deal passed last august that congress needed to come up with $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction, supposed to be done through the super committee but when that failed in november, this was included as a kind of punitive measure that includes 500 billion in cuts to defense spending and then 500 billion in cuts to discretionary nondefense spending. >> i want to come back to this talking to jeremy herb but the associated press story that was getting a lot of attention yesterday and you write about it today where the u.s. nuclear arsenal would be reduced by as much as 80% also raising some eyebr eyebrows. >> republicans were critical that they could reduce it up to 80%. joint chief chairman dempsey at the hearing today was really tried to downplay significance that it's just a preliminary study and notice has been made and one of the options to maintain the status quo.
>> we heard that, yes, we're ready to resume negotiations on this nuclear program but also is the same day that iran announcing it's made some major in-roads in the technology it has within the country. >> yeah, there's a group of senators led by senator graham who are planning resolution. they'll introduce it tomorrow and on the other side some liberal democrats along with congressman walter jones aare planning a letter urging the u.s. to look at all diplomatic options. >> you set up our next piece of sound perfectly. among those testifying or asking question, i should say on capitol hill, he posed the questions to secretary panetta and it gets to one of the key issues when you're dealing with the pentagon and military spending and that is, members of congress seem to like the fact that the government is reducing spending except when it impacts contractors or companies that provide materials or products to the defense department and that means jobs in their
congressional district. >> yeah, and i mean on top of that too one of the biggest issues is brac which is the base realignment and closure commission that came up again and again in both the house and senate hearings to everyone aside from ranking member smith on the house side and senator graham on the house side said they are opposed to doing it because it amounts to bases being closed in someone's district. >> jeremy herb, his work availablen online at thehill.com. >> walter jones, a republican from north carolina a huge military presence in his congressional district posing questions to defense secretary panetta. >> mr. chairman, thank you very much. and mr. secretary, i might be the only republican on the committee to say thank you for your recent decision about bringing our troops out in 2013. this has been of great interest and concern to me.
i have camp lejeune in my district. that's what my question will deal with. you being an elected official, served in the house, i think with my father a few years ago, walter jones sr. you know better than any of us here or as good as any of us, that politics is local. there's no question about it. i have cherry point marine air station in my district. also had the depot in the -- in my district. and so it reads -- it brings the question that mr. bartlett was asking you about the f-35, and of course at cherry point, because of the depot, the interest in the f-35b and knowing that at one point in a discussion i had a few months ago, there was a thought that maybe at some point in time as this f-35 becomes online and becomes a reality that there might be eight squadrons going down to cherry point. well, i realize in this very difficult budget year and none
of us know what we would like to see today might not be a possibility tomorrow. so if you would expand a little bit more on how you feel that the progress that's been made on the f-35 and knowing that you believe that we do need a strong fighter system in our country, if you would elaborate just a little bit more on that, i would appreciate it. >> thank you, congressman. you know, the only way the united states remains the strongest military power in the world is to keep developing new generation fighters that have the technologies and capabilities that we are going to need in the future. and i had the opportunity to go to pax river and see the development that is behind the f-35 and actually sit in there and look at the technology that's involved. i mean, we're talking about
spectacular technology that would be part of this plane in terms of stealth capabilities, but also in terms of targeting capabilities, and it is -- it is the next generation fighter. it's what we're going to need. and very frankly, countries are all lined up waiting for this plane because they know how good it's going to be. and that's why we've got to keep this on track. we've got three variants. you know, i can't go into defending all the decisions that were made before i became secretary. but three variants is not an easy process. it means you have to look at a lot of different questions that arise depending on the capabilities you're trying to design in each area, but nevertheless, each of those is important. we need a navy plane. we need a marine plane that can lift as the stoval will. and obviously we need an air force plane. so those are the key ingredients. my view is, you know, based on what i -- because i came into
this pretty skeptical about where this thing was. i looked at the facts, i've looked at the testing that's gone on, i've looked at the production rates that are out there. i'm convinced that we can deal with the final problems that are there, largely software issues that we've got to face. we're producing these planes even as we speak. but they are continuing to be tested. my goal is, working with the industry, to make sure that any changes here now can be as cost-efficient as possible. that's what i worry about. i don't want big changes in the planes because that will ramp up the cost real fast. so the real challenge right now is to keep these costs under control as we resolve the final issues involved with this plane. but i'm convinced we're going to be able to put that in place. >> the comments of defense secretary leon panetta, day two of three days of scheduled hearings on capitol hill as the defense secretary outlines the pentagon budget. and, by the way, we are covering cabinet secretaries all week on the c-span networks, and you can
check it out on our website at heard earlier the transportation secretary ray lahood and cat lien sebelius. this is "washington today" on c-span radio. congressional negotiators trying to work out the final agreement of a $150 billion measure that would extend a cut in the payroll taxes over the next ten months. it would also deal with extending jobless benefits for those people still out of work. there's a story on this at "the washington post" website, washingtonpost.com, and dealing with the so-called doc fix, now final passage according to the "washington post" is expected by friday. speaker john boehner speaking to reporters earlier about this proposed agreement. >> on payroll, all along and as late as last week you insisted that the payroll tax extension must be paid for. so what does the about-face say? >> we were not going to allow the democrats to continue to play political games and raise taxes on working americans.
and so we made a decision to bring them to the table so that the games would stop and we would get this work done. >> what does it say going forward, though? >> can you address for a moment, some members of congress as we expected don't like this deal, they are upset about some of the outcomes. what's your message to them and do you see potential for this being as much as of a revolt we saw in december? >> we were not going to allow democrats to continue to play games and cause a tax increase for hard-working americans. >> what about -- >> speaker, don't you think there could be political consequences for allowing $100 billion to go to the deficit when your members were elected to decrease the deficit? >> listen, we've worked all year to cut spending. when you look at the results from last year you'll see $2.1 trillion worth of spending that was cut from the budget. almost all but on the discretionary side. understand here we're also going
to make sure that the extension of unemployment is under a reform program and is paid for. and the so-called docs fix paid for as well. >> when you expect the house to vote on this, do you expect the house to approve the deal? >> i do expect, if the agreement comes together like i expect it will, the house should vote this week. >> do you expect the house -- >> speaker, you said if the deal comes together. are you guys still waiting -- >> i think they're trying to work out all the details. i think there's an agreement in principle but there are a lot of details that are yet to be worked out and i'm hopeful that will be wrapped up today. thanks. >> speaker of the house john boehner. again, the agreement that came forth after house republicans said they would set aside their differences trying to demand democrats look for a way to pay for this proposed tax cut. again, totaling about $150 billion that will extend the payroll tax cut through the end of this year. and of course that's part of the larger debate about the national debt. now at $15.3 trillion and growing.
the question we're asking here at c-span radio, do you think enough attention is being paid on the federal deficit? give us a call. 202-626-7962. again the phone number, 202-626-7962. shivon hughes covers congress for down jones news wires. he wrote speaker boehner expected the chamber to vote this week on a payroll tax cut extension package. but that a hiccup had emerged today over how to cover the cost of extending jobless benefits. what's that hiccup? >> the hiccup has to do with how do you pay for it? negotiators thought they had a deal, they thought that auctioning off some of the federal spectrum combined with having federal workers contribute a little bit more to their pensions, was going to be enough. but as people started looking at it, there's some question as to whether or not the spectrum auction is going to raise as much money as people had hoped. so the question is, how do you fill in that gap?
maryland, the maryland lawmakers, are really powerful players in this and a lot of people don't want federal workers, their constituents in maryland, to have to give any more so that's not a very good option for a lot of important players. there's also been a discussion about adding yet again fees that fannie mae and freddie mac would pass along to lenders every time you get a home mortgage but that's not a lot a good idea to a lot of people because housing is already struggling, and so why are you going to use that as the fix, the same thing you did last time around. so the question is, what is the way forward? as you dig a little bit deeper into this, spectrum also gets to be a very politicized issue because the way the bill is written could potentially determine at&t's ability to bid on a lot of the spectrum. that's intertwined with how much
money the auctions raise, the way auctions are designed affects the revenues that come in. you've got a bunch of moving pieces and it's still very much a fight that has not sorted out yet. >> assuming they figure out a way to pay for it what have you heard about the length of the extension? >> the length of the extension would be until the end of the year. that's a full ten months on each of the three provisions. the extension of the payroll tax cut, the so-called doc fix which avoids a cut in medicare ream -- reimbursements to doctors who serve meds care patients, the extended jobless benefits up until the end of the year. the jobless benefits however would not be quite as generous as they are today. >> what can you tell us about how they plan to resolve the medicare payments to doctors? how will that change? >> for doctors, it would be -- it would be pretty good. they're going to avoid that 27.4% cut and the agreement would extend through the end of the year. payment for medicare doctors. the issue is paying for it and
they're going to pay for it by cutting into some of the obama care programs, which is a politicized issue for a lot of democrats, but something that's a little hard for them to swallow. >> so as we stand here late afternoon on wednesday, any idea when they're hoping to get this resolved, and secondly, when we might see this voted on in the house and senate? >> mr. boehner implied this morning that he really wanted this voted on by friday. and senate aides have implied they want to take it up shortly after. people want to clear this off their plates before the recess next week. for that to happen, it looks like it's going to be a very, very late night and it's not clear when we're going to see that paper. >> an update on the payroll tax cut discussions. shivon hughes with down jones news wires. thanks for joining us. >> thank you. >> you're listening to "washington today" on c-span radio. >> one freshman republican dennis ross from florida's 12th congressional district indicating he will not support this compromise being put forth by speaker of the house john boehner. we spoke with congressman ross in our last hour.
>> i'm principally against it. i think it's disingenuous to the american public and hard-working taxpayers. it offers no real long-term relief. more importantly it takes $100 billion out of the social security trust fund that's already $2.5 trillion insolvent. we need to talk real tax reform. not this -- this temporary reduction in an obligation that we have to the seniors and other recipients of social security benefits. how do you get there, congressman? what are you looking for? >> what i'm looking for is a starting point, the president's debt commission. think the president's debt commission, a bipartisan commission, the simpson bowls commission, does an extraordinary job in laying the predicate in saying we cannot sustain ourselves on this path, we've got to look at eliminating corporate tax loopholes, simplifying the personal income tax brackets.
you know, that's the tax reform that a bipartisan commission came up with, nobody seems to want to address it, everybody seems to want to ignore it, but we've got to grow the economy. in the 80 years up to this point, we've never averaged over 18% of gdp in terms of tax revenue. we've always averaged around 18% of our gdp has been what consisted of our tax revenues. right now we're at 15% of our gdp is tax revenues and we're spending at 23%. we can't keep this. the only way -- and the bad thing about it is that a temporary reduction and a payroll tax for the next ten months does nothing to help us get our economy stimulated, does nothing to help us reduce our deficit. and more importantly, it does nothing to help grow the economy. we have to grow the economy. >> our conversation with congressman dennis ross expressing frustration with the compromise on the payroll tax cut saying he would likely vote against this measure.
a vote is expect the by friday. the house and senate out next week for the presidents' day recess.by friday. the house and senate out next week for the presidents' day recess. more on some of the issues that members of congress are dealing with in terms of the payroll tax cut and where things stand. paul ryan confronted the budget director today about what he calls the president's broken promise to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. eric wassen is writing for "the hill" newspaper. the obama budget projects a deficit of $901 billion for the next year which is not less than half of the $1.4 trillion deficit recorded in 2009. the first year of the obama administration. with all the attention on greece and the apparent economic compromise but still the unrest in greece because of some steep cut-backs to try to salvage the euro for greece, congressman